A Time for Jewish Togetherness – Brother Elie Honig (Rutgers, 1997)

(Editor’s Note: Today we’re celebrating a special Friday PiDay. Brother Elie Honig has become a leading voice on CNN and will be speaking at this year’s AEPi International Convention. Click here for more information and to join with your Brothers to hear Elie and to celebrate our fraternity. And, much like last week’s Friday PiDay, Brother Honig has passed on his love for AEPi to the next generation.  As an important reminder, if you want to make sure a chapter recruits a legacy or if you know of a student attending a college or university next year who would be good for AEPi please fill out this form as soon as possible (legacies must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the fall term).

Brother Elie Honig (Rutgers, 1997), a speaker at the AEPi International Convention next month, has held many titles. After graduating from Rutgers University in 1997, he went on to graduate from Harvard Law School in 2000 before beginning a 14-year career as a federal and state prosecutor, specializing in cases involving organized crime, human trafficking, public corruption, and violent crime. Now, in his current role as Senior Legal Analyst at CNN, he gives on-air commentary, analyzing news and legal issues including major criminal trials, the Supreme Court, the U.S. Department of Justice, congressional and grand jury investigations, national security, policing, and more. He’s also a weekly New York Magazine columnist, Emmy Award nominee, host of the true crime podcast, “Up Against the Mob,” teacher at Rutgers (his alma mater), and bestselling author of two books: “Hatchet Man: How Bill Barr Broke the Prosecutor’s Code and Corrupted the Justice Department” (2021) and “Untouchable: How Powerful People Get Away With It” (2023).

But even with all of this experience, Brother Honig still cites his role as president of AEPi at Rutgers as one of his most formative. “Being president was an enormous challenge, but also a valuable learning experience,” he said, reflecting on his time in the role, “it’s a lot to take on, [but it’s] really good preparation because you’re running something that’s real…it’s the most realistic experience I had during my college years, certainly before that and maybe a little bit beyond that.”

During his second semester at Rutgers, Brother Honig debated between two fraternities before ultimately finding himself drawn to AEPi. “It was one of those moments in life where it was a razor’s edge call,” he said. In the end, “it just felt right. It felt like a place where I would be comfortable.” Looking back, Brother Honig credits this feeling to the “shared sense of identity, values, upbringing, and ethics” among the fraternity. “It’s a shared culture more than anything else.”

Brother Honig’s involvement in AEPi paved the way for several of his family members after him, as his two younger brothers (Peter, 2000 and Benjamin, 2004) later joined the Rho Upsilon chapter at Rutgers. His son, Aaron (Chicago, 2027), is also a new member.

Brother Honig particularly enjoys the opportunity to interact with his son’s peers, the next generation of AEPi members. “The thing I’m most looking forward to [about the convention] is meeting the current undergraduates. I think it’s really interesting to meet these young people. I just got to meet some of my son’s housemates and I thought it was great. I love to hear what these kids are planning to do. They’re fun, I love the energy of it. I’m just looking forward to it.”

As he prepares to speak at convention next month, he also understands just how important it is for AEPi members to gather this summer, in light of the rising incidences of antisemitism on campuses following October 7.

“The need for Jewish togetherness is at a height right now. Antisemitism has always been there. I’m sure every AEPi in history has been vandalized or spray painted–we certainly were. But it’s different now. Now you have organized forces–sometimes including professors and administrators at universities–that are promoting and tolerating anti-Semitic language and conduct.

So, I think just the notion of Jewish togetherness is as important now as it has ever been on campus. Not exclusion of anyone else, but togetherness.”